Challenge: Not Being a Pain. In. The. Ass. Student

I’m going to go ahead and spoil the surprise for you: I’m losing this smackdown.

Because you know who makes the worst students ever?


If you’re a teacher, you already knew that answer, of course, because you know everything. As I do, because I’m a teacher, too.

Please don’t go splitting hairs and thinking, Uh, she isn’t a teacher. She’s not even working–she’s nothing but a layabout! I understand that, and I agree with it, but I am a teacher at heart. Now sit down and shut up because you’re going to be learning a lot today.

See? Teacher at heart.

My point–before you interrupted me–


This is a decent example of my teacher look. Please don't make me break out the real teacher look because it will stop you in your tracks!


–was that teachers makes the worst students ever. I think there are a variety of reasons for this, like:

1.) Um, hi, we’re teachers, not students. We’re used to being in charge of everything in the classroom, not having somebody be in charge of us in the classroom. This translates to something like–You want me to do what? Well, I want to sit here in my chair and continue talking to my friend, thanks.


Don't tell me what to do! I'm going to have fun!



2.) We’re pretty sure, deep down, that we are a better teacher than the person teaching us. There are notable exceptions, of course–I’ve been in some classrooms where I’ve just been in complete awe. Still, I think even if God awarded somebody Teacher of the Universe For All Past, Present and Future Time, most teachers out there would be able to find a flaw. The other teacher is definitely doing it wrong. Doing what wrong? Something. Possibly everything.

  • Teacher 1: Did you see the Teacher of the Universe’s handwriting? How does she expect students to understand that insanely perfect penmanship?
  • Teacher 2: And that interpretive dance she did while speaking in four languages to explain the 4th dimension of space to students who came here yesterday and don’t speak a single word of English? I mean, all the students passed the college-entrance exam based on that alone, and everybody else thought it was amazing, but I just thought it was pathetic pandering. We’re teachers, not entertainers.

3.) We love using sound, research-based educational theories on our students, but hate to have them used on us. Don’t try to trick me into enjoying this, Other Teacher! Won’t work! I’m on to you…


Ain't happenin'.


So guess what happens when I sit in Thai class 4 hours a day, 5 days a week?

I’m a pretty critical student, I’m not going to lie, but I don’t usually do anything about it. Yesterday, however, my entire class was very frustrated with our teacher. At the break, we were discussing how somebody needed to talk to her, so I suggested the entire class bring up our concerns together as a gesture of our solidarity. We fight together or we die! The 8 Musketeers! All for one and one for all!

The class decided instead to nominate somebody to talk to her one-on-one; somebody whose culture is known for being straight-up rude and obnoxious; somebody who really enjoys complaining in private, but doesn’t really like to do anything about it: Me.

Yup, I got nominated to be the Resident Pain in the Ass Farang Student.  I’m also the only farang, so there really wasn’t a lot of competition.

I don’t really want to go into all the sordid details about the whys and the what-happeneds (ugh, don’t you hate it when people say that? Like, just tell me the story already!), because I really do like my school and I’ve learned a ton. I’m not trying to badmouth my school here, honestly.

I just want to say–Remember that smackdown? Remember how I already spoiled the surprise?

Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m a pain in the ass.

Final Score

Not Being a Pain in the Ass Student: 1    Megan: 0

I’m just finding it really…interesting to have the tables turned and to be back in the kind-of-full-time student seat. It’s weird. I want to be in charge! I want to swipe the whiteboard marker from the teacher and do it myself because I am sure I will do a better job. I have really got to learn to let go a little more. But it’s hard!



Filed under Daily Challenge, Thai, Thailand

6 responses to “Challenge: Not Being a Pain. In. The. Ass. Student

  1. jess

    i love the photo of you in those glasses. and i might have gasped at your almost-teacher face. :)

    • That’s an old picture, but it makes me giggle. I’m still keeping in practice with my teacher look–I’m just practicing on the guys in my class who think they’re so hilarious (they’re NOT).

  2. This is pretty much just the best blog about Thailand ever.

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